A CULLINGWORTH tattooist has won an international prize for her work helping women with breast cancer.

Lucy Thompson uses her skills to recreate nipples for women who have lost their breasts through mastectomies.

She recently travelled to Belfast to attend the Titanic International Tattoo Convention with her charity the Nipple Innovation Project.

She said: “I’m proud to say I won first place for Most Realistic Tattoo with a brave client who was a breast cancer survivor.

“I entered realistic 3D bilateral ART nipple tattoos, which have never been done before, not only in the UK but further afield. I was up against many internationally-known, pro-team artists from around the world.”

The Nipple Innovation Project (NIP) brought home three trophies, with Lucy’s business partner Luke Naylor taking second Best Leg Piece and third Best In Show.

For three years Lucy ran the Skinflicted tattoo studio in Keighley, before teaming up with Luke to set up Wonderland Tattoo & Piercing Studio in Rawson Place, Bradford, earlier this year.

The pair also opened the UK’s first mastectomy tattoo studio, known as Yorkshire Mastectomy Tattoos, which also serves as headquarters for NIP, the UK’s first cancer tattoo charity.

Lucy said: “NIP was founded to offer the highest level of 3D nipple tattoos for breast cancer survivors, including funding for the tattoos and an online directory of trained and qualified artists.

“We want to provide funding for breast cancer survivors who seek restorative tattooing, such as permanent 3D nipple tattoos and decorative mastectomy scar cover-ups, an exciting ground-breaking service in the UK.

“I am training five more artists from the UK and beyond this September with my mentor Stacie-Rae who is flying over from California.

“We have found some amazing artists who want to be a part of the NIP movement who are from Scotland, France, Newcastle and beyond.

“I want this service to be more readily available for survivors everywhere – it’s the least they deserve. These are nipples that don’t fade away.”

NIP held its second annual charity fundraiser on this month at the Wonderland Tattoo and Piercing Studio in Bradford city centre.

A fundraiser last year raised more than £2,000.

As another fundraising venture, NIP and Bradford tattoo studio Wonderland recently asked donations of handmade nipples does onto promotional T-shirts.

Lucy said: “We put out an online plea for knitted, crocheted and sewn nipples which so far has been a great success; receiving packages of hand-crafted nipples in all shapes and colours from all over the UK!”